Instagram is the go-to social media platform for brands that want to tell their stories through exciting, immersive visual content. Yet knowing what will resonate with an audience can be tricky. Here are a few ideas on how to engage Instagram followers with content that is as compelling as it is inspiring.

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Idea #1: Publish Natural Photos That Look and Feel Authentic

From the very beginning, Instagram users favored original, organic images that captured the raw, real side of life. To this day, you continue to find this type of content dominating the feed.

Knowing this, you can make it a point to diversify the photos you use on Instagram to give your story an authentic, genuine feeling. Rather than leaning on stock photos, consider some ways you could create your own unique images, such as:

  • Event photos – From open houses to holiday gatherings, trade shows to conferences, any events your brand is involved with can be an opportunity to engage your Instagram followers. Even a small company outing or team building activity is worthy of snapping some of your own photos.
  • Employee snapshots – Showcasing images of your employees lends a human element to your Instagram page. Do a quick feature on a different team member every month or introduce new staff to your audience.
  • Product endorsements – Have a new product or service you want to let people know about? Capture a few of your own images to inspire and educate your followers.
  • Environmental shots – Do you have spectacular sunsets where you do business? Perhaps you’re in the travel industry and are surrounded by picturesque lakes, trails, or campgrounds. Photos of the outdoors are hugely popular on Insta. You could win over your audience with environmental images that reflect your brand, industry, or corner of the world.

Idea #2: Create Original Videos That Attract and Entertain

One of the best ways to engage followers on Instagram is with video content. Not only does video give brands another way to communicate their stories, but it also brings the audience closer to the brand by letting them experience your style, values, or commitments.

Here’s an example of how one brand uses video to give followers a sneak peek of an upcoming feature:

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Become One of The Highest Paid Digital Marketer

Idea #3: Play Around With Instagram Stories for In-The-Moment Content

Stories are the short-lived content you see at the top of the Instagram platform. They have a lifetime of just 24 hours before they disappear. Why would you want to use Instagram Stories to engage your followers? Because 70 percent of Instagram users watch Stories daily.

The best part is you can create Stories from the natural photos and original videos you already have or will make in the future. Instagram has several tools you can use to edit and enhance your Stories, like stickers and graphics. There are lots of ways to capture your audience with Instagram Stories, so try them out and see which approach works best.

Idea #4: Share Other Users’ Posts on Your Account

One of the best ways to get your followers engaged on Instagram is to share what others are saying about your brand on your own page. This content is known as user-generated content and, when used with permission, can go a long way in inspiring your own audience.

Here’s how a local coffee shop does this through its Stories:



Become One of The Highest Paid Digital Marketer

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Become One of The Highest Paid Digital Marketer

Idea #5: Start a Contest or Giveaway to Get Followers Involved.

It feels like nothing gets Instagrammers more excited than when their favorite brands announce a contest or giveaway. You can do this through regular photo posts, videos, or Stories. Some brands require users to tag another friend or family member who’s on Instagram, or follow their page, to enter.

The great part about hosting a contest is you don’t even have to give away a physical or monetary prize. For example, if you run a pizza place and you ask followers to share their unique pizza recipes (using a hashtag you identify), you can declare a winner and celebrate that person on your page.

Interested to know more about social media marketing strategies? Then check out the Advanced Social Media Marketing Course. Enroll now. 

About the Author

Rob SandersRob Sanders

Rob Sanders is a digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience. During that time, Rob has helped a wide range of companies utilize new and emerging technologies to increase sales and profitability. As founder of RSO Consulting, Rob helps clients maximize their digital marketing efforts via SEO, SEM, SMO, and Web Analytics. He is responsible for many facets of the web analytics value chain, from identifying business goals and objectives to developing strategies and translating those into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Rob also teaches digital marketing and analytics classes throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a contributor for Simplilearn, Rob creates expert thought leadership content on a variety of digital marketing and analytics topics.

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